interviewBy Ismail Adebayo
Garba Sarki Mohammed Akuyam represented Hardawa Constituency of Bauchi State in the State Assembly in 2007. He was the chairman of the then Action Congress (AC) and became the acting chairman, North East Zone of the party. In this interview, he spoke on the political situation in Bauchi State. Excerpts:
What is your take on the current crisis in Bauchi State Congress for Progressive Change (CPC)?
The crisis in Bauchi CPC is very unfortunate because the CPC is the last hope of an ordinary Nigerian. It is the only party that can salvage the nation and save Nigerians from what is currently happening in the polity. There are so many problems and unless we have a political party that can perform, I think at the end of the day, we will still have a lot of problems. Nigeria is a big country. We have a complex society with multi-ethnic and multi-religious groups. So, unless we unite and get somebody that can lead the country well, the current situation will degenerate. Most of our children cannot go to school. When you have an uninformed youth that is in total darkness, it means that he or she will be behaving like an animal. That is the reason why problems that emanates from the ward level, move to local and state levels till it reaches the national level. This social problem may, one day, develop to full national crisis.
Recently, Senator Nazif Suleiman Gamawa was sacked by the Bauchi State CPC but the party's National Executive overruled that decision. What would you say about that?
First, let me say that Distinguished Senator Nazif is a national figure of great repute who has always stood by his people. Even when he was in the PDP, he was in the opposition as he was one of the few who stood against third term and was part of the National Democratic Movement (PDM). It will interest you to know that Nazif stood up for the doctrine of necessity. But when President Goodluck Jonathan said he was contesting, he left. Nazif has always been on the good side of history because he has always fought for a good course. Senator Nazif is actually in touch with his people and the acceptance he has is a threat to most of the politicians in Bauchi State. I am talking of both within and outside the CPC. They are afraid of his popularity. So they think the best way to fight him is to sack him from the party he has laboured tirelessly to make sure that it stands strong. But above all, the CPC national executive has decided to look into the matter and punish erring members.
Considering the crises in the CPC from national to local government levels, how do you think such a party can be trusted to solve more complex crisis like that of Nigeria?
The crisis in CPC is an artificial one. When CPC came in 2010, it was a kind of 'crash' programme because elections were close. After the elections, unknown to us, so many people infiltrated the party who are not members but sponsored by some agents from other parties just to come and disorganise the CPC. Now that we have realised that, what we are now doing is to try to flush out those who we know that are not there in good faith. I think that in the near future, we are going to put the CPC at national and state level on the right track preparatory to facing 2015. After all, we are going to face merger. That merger is also a solution because there will be no CPC. There will be no ACN. There will be a new party. That means that all these crises are going to be over. Before next year, all these things are going to take shape.
Have you contested for any elective position before?
In 2007, I won my election on the platform of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). I contested in 2011 on the same platform. But unfortunately, they said I didn't win. Now, I moved from ANPP to CPC?
What is your next ambition?
This time around, I am nursing the idea of contesting the senatorial seat or House of Representative seat from my constituency. I want to help solve all these problems. They are not insurmountable. We will solve it through the emergence of somebody that can deliver. That is why I talk of CPC as the only hope for ordinary Nigerians. The party can produce credible candidates. People like General
Muhammadu Buhari, I call him a moral authority. He is our Mandela in Nigeria. He has the capacity, the courage, the competence and the credibility to lead the country. Why are Nigerians following Buhari?
This is simply because they have the belief that if he becomes the leader of Nigeria, things are going to change definitely. If given the opportunity to serve as a lawmaker, I will support the enactment of laws that will have positive impact on the country.